Spider-Man: Web of Shadows impressions

Posted by Oni (2099 posts) -

A couple of people have asked me for my opinion on Web of Shadows, so here it is. I haven't finished the game yet, but I spent a good 4 hours or so playing it, and according to some I've seen most of what the game has to offer, which, in a nutshell, is fighting, lots and lots of fighting. And of course the requisite web-swinging.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Duel in the sky
The good news is the fighting is exactly what is was billed to be: Very fluid, cinematic and it makes you feel like Spider-Man. Though it takes a little while before you get access to the more spectacular moves, once you learn the web-zip moves early on that let you zip towards enemies and either kick them, throw them or slam them into the ground you can start to build some pretty awesome combos, bouncing from one enemy to the next and potentially never leaving the ground until they're all dealt with. Add to that the fact that you can switch between both the black suit and the red suit at will, which definitely have a very different feel to them, combat-wise, and your only real limit is pretty much your creativity within the game's large move set. There is a good amount of depth to the system, and while you can technically get by using very basic combos, that just isn't a lot of fun, and you'd be shooting yourself in the foot not trying out both suits and their moves extensively to find what works for you.

The web-swinging feels a lot like Spider-Man 2's, with slightly different controls, and slightly simplified, though not nearly as much as Ultimate Spider-Man's were. The big sticking point (pun intended) is that Spidey's webs don't actually attach to anything when swinging, which is kind of a bummer, because I sort of liked using the buildings as a tether, it made rounding corners and such feel intuitive and realistic. You still need buildings to use web-zip, though. Of course the upside is that getting around areas without a lot of tall buildings is no longer a hassle. When I heard that the webs don't attach to anything I was initially very bummed out, but it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, mostly because you don't really notice most of the time unless you're paying attention. And I feel I need to mention that the web-swinging is a little... random. Sometimes it just won't attach to anything when there are no buildings around, like when you're on the top of a tall building, and sometimes it will. It's weird, it's like, why didn't the just make the webs attach to the buildings in that case? But it's not a huge deal.
Overall I prefer Spider-Man 2's web-swinging, which was about as perfect as it could possibly be, but it's still pretty good in this game.

The most critized part of the game is usually the repetitive nature of the mission structure, and on this point I kind of have to agree. I mean on one hand there isn't much you can do as Spidey besides swinging and fighting, and the previous games have kind of proved that missions outside of this mold usually weren't very fun, but it's still a bit disappointing to see that pretty much every mission consists of you fighting dudes or occasionally getting somewhere within a (lenient) time limit. There are optional missions as well, but they are pretty much MMORPG-like kill quests and don't amount to much. Don't expect anything special out of the game's open-world structure, basically.

The story hasn't really taken off for me yet, but I'll be curious to see how all the symbiote stuff plays out. Graphically, the game is kind of sparse. It looks like a HD version of Spider-Man 2, kind of. Major characters look nice but the city lacks character and charm a bit.

If you're a huge Spidey nut like me and you liked Spider-Man 2 a lot but thought the follow-ups were disappointing, I think this game is worth getting, depending on how many games you were already planning on buying. I realize this holiday season is crowded as fuck, and this probably isn't the best game to buy, but it does scratch that Spidey itch, and it's certainly not bad. At the very least worth a rental.
#1 Posted by Oni (2099 posts) -

A couple of people have asked me for my opinion on Web of Shadows, so here it is. I haven't finished the game yet, but I spent a good 4 hours or so playing it, and according to some I've seen most of what the game has to offer, which, in a nutshell, is fighting, lots and lots of fighting. And of course the requisite web-swinging.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Duel in the sky
The good news is the fighting is exactly what is was billed to be: Very fluid, cinematic and it makes you feel like Spider-Man. Though it takes a little while before you get access to the more spectacular moves, once you learn the web-zip moves early on that let you zip towards enemies and either kick them, throw them or slam them into the ground you can start to build some pretty awesome combos, bouncing from one enemy to the next and potentially never leaving the ground until they're all dealt with. Add to that the fact that you can switch between both the black suit and the red suit at will, which definitely have a very different feel to them, combat-wise, and your only real limit is pretty much your creativity within the game's large move set. There is a good amount of depth to the system, and while you can technically get by using very basic combos, that just isn't a lot of fun, and you'd be shooting yourself in the foot not trying out both suits and their moves extensively to find what works for you.

The web-swinging feels a lot like Spider-Man 2's, with slightly different controls, and slightly simplified, though not nearly as much as Ultimate Spider-Man's were. The big sticking point (pun intended) is that Spidey's webs don't actually attach to anything when swinging, which is kind of a bummer, because I sort of liked using the buildings as a tether, it made rounding corners and such feel intuitive and realistic. You still need buildings to use web-zip, though. Of course the upside is that getting around areas without a lot of tall buildings is no longer a hassle. When I heard that the webs don't attach to anything I was initially very bummed out, but it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, mostly because you don't really notice most of the time unless you're paying attention. And I feel I need to mention that the web-swinging is a little... random. Sometimes it just won't attach to anything when there are no buildings around, like when you're on the top of a tall building, and sometimes it will. It's weird, it's like, why didn't the just make the webs attach to the buildings in that case? But it's not a huge deal.
Overall I prefer Spider-Man 2's web-swinging, which was about as perfect as it could possibly be, but it's still pretty good in this game.

The most critized part of the game is usually the repetitive nature of the mission structure, and on this point I kind of have to agree. I mean on one hand there isn't much you can do as Spidey besides swinging and fighting, and the previous games have kind of proved that missions outside of this mold usually weren't very fun, but it's still a bit disappointing to see that pretty much every mission consists of you fighting dudes or occasionally getting somewhere within a (lenient) time limit. There are optional missions as well, but they are pretty much MMORPG-like kill quests and don't amount to much. Don't expect anything special out of the game's open-world structure, basically.

The story hasn't really taken off for me yet, but I'll be curious to see how all the symbiote stuff plays out. Graphically, the game is kind of sparse. It looks like a HD version of Spider-Man 2, kind of. Major characters look nice but the city lacks character and charm a bit.

If you're a huge Spidey nut like me and you liked Spider-Man 2 a lot but thought the follow-ups were disappointing, I think this game is worth getting, depending on how many games you were already planning on buying. I realize this holiday season is crowded as fuck, and this probably isn't the best game to buy, but it does scratch that Spidey itch, and it's certainly not bad. At the very least worth a rental.
#2 Posted by HistoryInRust (6321 posts) -

I appreciate this write-up, Oni. 

I will end up renting it.  Like Spider-Man 3, which I enjoyed, I'll probably get my fill of the game there. 

#3 Posted by Oni (2099 posts) -

It's definitely better than SM3, which I thought was mediocre to the max, but yeah, you probably could get your fill with a rental, seeing as it doesn't offer a ton of variety.

#4 Posted by Kush (8889 posts) -

Pretty much what I expected to hear, but I do hope that the story picks up for you because that was one of the aspects I was really excited for...anyways, thanks for the write up :) I plan to rent this once my BB gets a copy back in.

#5 Posted by Sweep (8869 posts) -

Great write-up dude. Its a shame spiderman is so limited by its game design. There must be a huge potential for a great spiderman action adventure game, but developers are just happy to churn out repetitive design.

I love spiderman, and you sound fairly enthusiastic. Its got to the point where I can associate with every one of those issues and I still want to go play the game. One day.... Thanks dude.

Moderator
#6 Posted by TrulyAlive (900 posts) -

I intend to buy this, the problem is that I'm likely to be waiting until January. My birthday is Christmas Eve so starting about now, I need to stop buying anything at all in case I end up with two copies of something...=/

#7 Posted by BiggerBomb (6944 posts) -

Alright, that was pretty much all I needed to know that I'll definitely pass on this. Oh well, that gives me more time for other games! :D

#8 Posted by Torb (551 posts) -

Yea man I rented this game and got to play it today for an hour or two and completely agree with everything you mentioned here. The city really needs something to help give it some flair and the combat, while fun, shouldn't be the only thing that the game revolves around. Oh well, I'm still having an awesome time! Great observations man.

#9 Posted by mordecaix7 (657 posts) -

I think i'm going to beat that game tonight, and then i'll start working on achievements playing as the black suit.  The only one i'm going to go out of my way getting is the fully upgraded spider-man.  The rest I'll get whenever.

#10 Posted by Rowr (5710 posts) -

I would check it out. But unfortunately spiderman died in my heart with the introduction of a live action film. :(

#11 Posted by Kush (8889 posts) -
Rowr said:
"I would check it out. But unfortunately spiderman died in my heart with the introduction of a live action film. :("
That's only because the live-action films were banned in Australia!

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